What happens when court documents have the incorrect name?

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What happens when court documents have the incorrect name?

I have been receiving mail from the courthouse because I have not paid on a fine from having expired tabs because they have an incorrect name. I do not have a middle name but in these papers they add a middle name so I haven’t paid on the fine because they don’t have my real name on these papers. I have never gone by a different name before so I am just confused about the whole thing. Like do I have to pay this fine even with the wrong name?

Asked on January 5, 2018 under General Practice, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If they have the wrong person--e.g. you did not have expired tags--then you do not have to pay, but should let the court now that this is not you.
If this is you and they court just added a middle name in error, you have to pay the fine. The law is very clear that a harmless error, like spelling a name wrong, or adding a middle name when someone does not have one, does not invalidate the summons, ticket, warrant, judgment, etc. The addition of the middle name, assuming that you are the person who committed this offense, is irrelevant.


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